Transport in Sudan: Roads

Transport in Sudan: Roads Last updated on Saturday 24th April 2010

There are about 50,000km (31,080 miles) of roads in the Sudan, but most are unsurfaced dirt tracks which may become completely impassable after heavy rain. A paved highway, opened in 1980, runs between Khartoum and Port Sudan.

Coach transport on paved roads runs between Khartoum, Kassala, Port Sudan, al-Gadarif, Atbara, Kosti, El-Obeid and the northern region. These boast air-conditioning, comfortable seats and shock absorbers, but most buses are a far cry from this class of transport. The vast majority have wooden bench seats, no shock absorbers and are very crowded and uncomfortable.

Travel by lorry is probably even more unpleasant, as the rear section must be shared with all kinds of cargo and livestock. It is also open to the elements, and is hot and dusty in the extreme. Travel by both bus and lorry is extremely slow, due to the poor condition of the roads and the inevitable breakdowns en route.

A slightly faster way of getting about is by Toyota Hilux pick-ups, known to the locals as 'boxes' (boksi, plural bokasi). Pick-up trucks are mostly used as local transport between villages, but some longer routes are available, notably a trans-desert route from Dongola to Kareema and Karema ::/IAtbara.

In some areas, many of the locals travel by camel (western and northern Sudan).

Taxi services is available in almost all cities.

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